- زمان مطالعه 7 دقیقه
- سطح ساده
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
Tuesday came at last. The inquest was at two o’clock. After an early lunch, I drove into the town with Maxim.
‘I think I shall stay here in the car,’ I said. ‘I won’t come in with you after all.’
‘I didn’t want you to come,’ Maxim said. ‘I wish you had stayed at Manderley.’
Maxim went off and left me sitting there. The minutes went by. I wondered what was happening at the inquest. I got out of the car and began walking up and down.
A policeman looked at me.
‘Excuse me, Madam,’ he said. ‘Aren’t you Mrs de Winter? You can wait inside if you like.’
The policeman took me into an empty room. Five minutes passed. Nothing happened. I got up and walked out of the little room. The policeman was still standing there.
‘How long will they be?’ I asked him.
‘I’ll go and see if you like,’ the policeman said. He was back again in a moment.
‘It won’t last much longer,’ he told me. ‘Mr de Winter has just finished giving his evidence. There’s only the boat-builder, Mr Tabb, to speak now. Would you like to go in? There’s an empty seat near the door.’
I followed the policeman. He opened the door for me and I went in quietly and sat down. The room was small and full of people. The air was hot and stuffy. Frank was sitting next to Maxim. To my surprise, Mrs Danvers was there too, with Favell beside her. I wondered whether Maxim had seen him.
Tabb, the boat-builder, standing in the centre of the room, was answering the Coroner’s questions.
‘Was the boat in good condition?’ the Coroner was asking.
‘Yes, it certainly was the last time I saw it,’ Tabb said. ‘It was a strong little boat. I can’t understand why it sank that night.’
‘Accidents have happened before,’ the Coroner said. ‘Mrs de Winter was careless for a moment and she died.’
‘Excuse me, sir,’ said the boat-builder. ‘I would like to say something else.’
‘Very well, go on,’ said the Coroner.
‘It’s this, sir. There was nothing wrong with that boat when I last saw it. So what I want to know is this. Who made those holes in the planks? Rocks didn’t do it. The boat sank too far away from them. And those holes were mad with something sharp.’
I could not look at anyone. I stared down at the floor.
For a moment, the Coroner was too surprised to speak. Then he said, ‘What do you mean? What sort of holes?’
‘There were three of them, in different parts of the boat. And that’s not all. The sea-cocks had been turned full on.’
‘The sea-cocks? What are they?’ asked the Coroner.
‘The sea-cocks close the pipes leading to the wash-basins, sir. They must be kept tightly closed when the boat is sailing. Otherwise the sea water comes in.’
It was hot in that crowded room, far too hot. I wished someone would open a window. The boat-builder was speaking again.
‘With those holes, sir, and the sea-cocks open, a small boat like Mrs de Winter’s would soon sink. It’s my opinion that there was no accident. That boat was sunk on purpose.’
I must try and get out of the door, I thought. There was no air. People were standing up and talking loudly. I heard the Coroner say, ‘Mr de Winter.’
Maxim was standing up. I could not look at him.
‘Mr de Winter,’ the Coroner said, ‘you have heard James Tabb’s evidence. Do you know anything about those holes?’
‘Can you think why they are there?’
‘No, of course not.’
‘This news is a shock to you, of course?’
‘Of course it is a shock. Does it surprise you that I am shocked?’
Maxim’s voice was hard and angry.
Oh God, I thought, don’t let Maxim lose his temper.
The Coroner was speaking again.
‘Mr de Winter, I want to find out exactly how your late wife died. Who looked after Mrs de Winter’s boat?’
‘She looked after it herself.’
‘Then whoever took the boat out that night also made those holes and opened the sea-cocks.’
‘I suppose so.’
‘You have told us that the door and windows of the cabin were shut?’
‘Doesn’t this seem very strange to you, Mr de Winter?’
‘Yes, it does.’
‘Mr de Winter, I’m afraid I must ask you one other question. Were you and the late Mrs de Winter happily married?’
It was hot, so hot. I tried to stand up, but I could not. The ground came up to meet me. And then I heard Maxim’s voice, clear and strong.
‘Will someone take my wife outside? She is going to faint.’
I was sitting in the little room again. Frank was beside me.
‘I’m sorry,’ I said. ‘It was so hot in there.’
‘Are you feeling better, Mrs de Winter?’ Frank asked. ‘Maxim has told me to take you back to Manderley.’ Frank helped me to get up.
‘I’d much rather stay,’ I said. ‘I want to wait for Maxim.’
‘Maxim may be some time,’ Frank told me. ‘They may have to go over the evidence again.’
‘But what are they trying to find out?’
Frank did not answer. We were in his car now and he was driving very fast.
‘Did you see Favell there?’ I asked. ‘He was sitting with Mrs Danvers. I don’t trust them, Frank. They might make trouble.’
Frank did not answer. He could not know how much Maxim had told me. Then we were back at Manderley.
‘Will you be all right now?’ Frank asked me. ‘I shall go back. Maxim may want me.’ He got quickly back into the car again and drove away.
I went upstairs to my room, and lay down on my bed. What were they all saying now? What was happening? What would I do if Frank came back to Manderley without Maxim? I thought again of that dreadful word - murder. God, let me not think about it. Let me think about something else, anything…
I must have fallen asleep. I woke up suddenly. It was five o’clock. I got up and went to the window. There was no wind. Lightning flashed against the grey sky. I heard thunder in the distance. A few drops of rain began to fall.
I went downstairs and sat with Jasper in the library.
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